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Tootle's 'slug' goal celebration

The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Depor misfit Scaloni keen on Prem return

Former West Ham defender Lionel Scaloni would relish a return to the Premiership after being told he has no future with Deportivo la Coruna.

Scaloni spent six months on loan at West Ham last season and played in the FA Cup final before being released back to Deportivo.

But the Spanish club's president Augusto Cesar Lendoiro confirmed today that Scaloni, along with Celtic target Diego Tristan, would not be at the Riazor next season.

A return to West Ham has been rumoured and a move back to London would certainly top Scaloni's wish-list.

'I enjoyed my time at West Ham. I enjoy the Premiership, it is very physical and very fast. For me it was good,' Scaloni said.

'But nothing is certain. I am on vacation now and go back to Spain next week. My future is in the hands of Deportivo. I don't have a good relationship with the management there.

'It's possible I will return to England - I like London and the big city - or go to France.'

Scaloni slowly won over the West Ham fans and produced his best performances in the closing weeks of the season.

He was hugely impressed by the young talent at Upton Park and believes the Hammers could have as many as five players in England's Euro 2008 squad.

'It is difficult to say who is West Ham's best player, but I was surprised Matthew Etherington was not in the England squad at the World Cup,' said Scaloni.

'I enjoyed playing with Anton Ferdinand. He is young and one to watch because he can play well in two positions, in central defence or on the right.

'Nigel Reo-Coker, Dean Ashton and Paul Konchesky - in one or two years it possible for them all to play for the national team in England.'

Ferdinand was invited by Sven-Goran Eriksson to join Reo-Coker in England's World Cup standby list as a a replacement for the injured Luke Young.

But the England manager's phone call came just 24 hours after Ferdinand had undergone a double hernia operation.

Although Ferdinand would not have been required for World Cup duty, the chance to link up with the squad before they flew to Germany would have been a valuable experience for the 21-year-old.

'It was about a week after the FA Cup final and I was just sitting at home when my phone rang. It was Sven asking if I would like to join up with the squad on standby,' recalled Ferdinand, who travelled to Germany anyway to watch England's group games and support his older brother Rio.

'I was shocked at first. Unfortunately I had to say no because I'd had a double hernia operation the day before!

'Sven didn't know about that and said it was unfortunate, but wished me all the best for the future.

'It was a bit upsetting to think that having the operation cost me the chance of joining up with England.'

After Ferdinand's penalty miss in the FA Cup final shoot-out secured victory for Liverpool, Scaloni suffered further penalty heart-ache at the World Cup where favourites Argentina were dumped out in the quarter-finals by Germany.

'I think Argentina were good enough to win the World Cup,' Scaloni reflected.

'In the match against Germany Argentina deserved to win but we had no luck in the penalties. Penalties were no good for Argentina.'